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PM fails to keep promise on dentist provision

April 25, 2007 2:27 PM
Mark PMQ

Mark forces PM to admit pledge on dentist won't be fulfilled

Today (25th April 2007), Mark Hunter MP for Cheadle quizzed the Prime Minister on the woefully inadequate dental provision in Cheadle and across the UK. The Prime Minister pledged at the 1999 Labour Party Conference that within two years everyone would have access to a NHS dentist, wherever they lived 'just by calling NHS direct'. Eight years later the situation remains dire, according to the British Dental Association less than half of British adults are not registered with a NHS dentist. In the Cheadle constituency, according to the dental helpline provided by Stockport PCT, there are currently no dental surgeries taking new NHS patients, with all patients requiring appointments being placed on a Stockport wide waiting list.

Speaking after Prime Minister's Question Time, Mark Hunter said, "The Prime Minister has failed the country by not fulfilling his promise of NHS dental provision for all, NHS dental provision is woefully inadequate and peoples' dental health is suffering because of it. It is appalling that even after ten years as Prime Minister less than half of all British adults still cannot get a dental appointment on the NHS.

This situation is not improving. Today the Prime Minister failed to give me any indication of when his promise might be fulfilled. Letters from constituents continue to fill my postbag with messages of shock when their dentist stops accepting them as an NHS patient, and disappointment when they then find it impossible to find another dental surgery in the area who will take them on. The Prime Minister promised to provide access to NHS dentists for all, and time is running out for him to deliver".